What Pipe to Use For Water in Your Home

When it comes to your home’s plumbing system, there are various types of pipes for various uses. Knowing these different pipes allows you to troubleshoot issues more quickly and save money on repiping in the future.


Copper is a naturally corrosion-resistant material widely used in plumbing applications. It often replaces plastic pipe due to its lengthy lifespan, durability and impermeable qualities.

When selecting copper pipes for your home, there are a number of factors to consider such as how often you plan on using it, where it will be installed and your budget. There are two primary types: flexible and rigid.

Rigid copper pipes are more expensive than flexible options, but they offer greater durability and can be utilized for various applications like water and oil transportation, fire protection, HVAC systems and construction projects.

Rigid copper pipes, unlike their soft copper counterparts, cannot be bent and require tools to fit together. This makes them more durable and a good option for those who need to work on their plumbing systems without the hassle of bending.

Residential plumbing typically utilizes copper supply lines due to their resistance to corrosion and lack of reaction with hot water. However, it should be noted that acidic water can eat away at copper pipes over time, reducing their elasticity until they become leaky.

Cities across America have increasingly switched away from lead service lines in their water systems and toward copper ones, which provide superior safety and longevity. Cities such as Lansing, Michigan; Flint, Michigan; Madison, Wisconsin; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and many others have all made the decision to transition away from lead piping back into their water systems.

Copper pipe sizes come in various thicknesses and pressure ratings; the two most popular sizes being Type K and L (both rigid and flexible).

Type K copper pipe is thicker than its two counterparts and typically used for large-scale water and oil transportation projects as well as fire protection applications. It also fits perfectly into air conditioning, medical gas pipelines and sprinkler systems.


PVC is an extremely durable plastic material used to manufacture pipes, valves and other liquid handling items. It has many applications and has become a popular replacement for metal piping in plumbing systems due to its eco-friendliness – requiring little energy production during production.

PVC pipe is a common choice in water piping due to its strength, durability and ease of installation. Furthermore, PVC is cost-effective and recyclable for future reuse.

Different types of PVC pipe exist, each with their own advantages and drawbacks. All are molded from PVC resin in a specific size, diameter and length; the most popular being schedule 40 which meets NSF’s potable water standard.

Another type of PVC pipe is CPVC, or chlorinated polyvinyl chloride. This material is more durable and resistant to high temperatures as well as various chemicals better than PVC can handle.

CPVC can be used in commercial plumbing systems, residential hot water lines and other areas where pressure and temperature may be an issue. CPVC is less brittle than PVC and easier to cut with a saw; additionally it requires no open flame to join pieces together. However, CPVC is more costly than its PVC counterpart while being more difficult to work with.

Both PVC and CPVC piping can be used outdoors for water delivery, though they are not recommended due to the risk of freezing inside them. They can however be insulated with foam insulation which helps protect against leaks or breakage during cold weather conditions.

Some types of PVC pipe have been specially treated with chlorine to increase their chemical resistance. These pipes typically carry certification from ANSI, NSF and ASTM and are intended for transportation of drinking water, industrial processes and other water-related applications.

Another type of PVC pipe is molecularly oriented (PVC-O). This material goes through a special production process to transform its amorphous structure from unplasticized PVC into layers, improving corrosion resistance and making it more durable. Plus, molecularly oriented PVC has greater flexibility and ductility than unplasticized, making it an ideal choice for water piping applications.


When it comes to water piping, there are three primary materials: copper, galvanized steel and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Each has its own advantages so you should decide which one best suits your needs before beginning any plumbing project.

PVC pipe is a popular choice for home plumbing systems due to its lightweight nature, affordability and resistance to corrosion. Furthermore, it can be recycled once worn down or broken – making it an eco-friendly choice for your household’s water supply and plumbing systems.

ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is a black plastic pipe commonly used for drain and waste piping applications. It’s lightweight and can be quickly joined together using one-step cement.

This makes it an ideal choice for outdoor applications that will be exposed to harsh weather conditions. It can handle freezing temperatures and is highly resistant to corrosion.

However, it can be damaged by UV rays and should not be installed near tree roots. Furthermore, heat can affect it negatively; so when selecting a pipe for landscaping or gardening needs, make sure it meets these criteria.

It is essential that you cut the pipe correctly and use a flat end when connecting pipes. Rough edges or debris can cause the cement used for connection to separate and leave gaps where water can seep in.

Finally, ensure the pipe is installed correctly. Connect it to a drain or other area which will receive the most water, such as a toilet. Doing this prevents leaks and damages to your plumbing system.

When connecting your pipe, the most essential thing to remember is always adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines. These should usually be printed on each piece of pipe’s label. Furthermore, make sure you abide by local building codes as there may be specific limitations on which type of pipe can be used in certain locations.

Galvanized Steel

If you need a pipe to use for water in your home, there are plenty of choices available. Galvanized steel pipe is one popular option and has applications across numerous industries and purposes.

Galvanized pipe is constructed of steel and coated with zinc on both inside and outside to protect it from rusting. Unfortunately, over time this protective layer begins to wear away, allowing rust to build up inside the pipes.

Rust can cause a number of issues for homeowners. It could cause pinhole leaks that will ultimately result in major water damage, as well as clog up faucets and plumbing bends.

To avoid these issues, it’s essential to regularly inspect the piping in your home for signs of damage. This includes inspecting your water line for rust spots or discolorations.

When inspecting threaded fittings for galvanized pipes, look for a shiny silver color and large threads compared to copper or PEX piping.

Once you’ve thoroughly examined your piping, it’s time to contact a plumber with any concerns you may have. Doing this as quickly as possible is essential; waiting too long could leave you with an extensive mess on your hands.

When a plumber inspects your plumbing, they’ll be able to detect whether the pipe is leaking or needs replacement. Furthermore, they can suggest the correct type of pipe replacement which could save you money in the long run.

Galvanized pipe in your home should be replaced with copper or plastic piping to avoid potential water damage. Galvanized pipes are particularly vulnerable to rust, so replacing them is a smart move as they tend to rust faster than other materials and lead to costly repairs.

Another common issue with galvanized pipes is scale build-up. This occurs when zinc in the pipe reacts with chemicals and minerals in your tap water, creating a thick layer of scale which reduces water pressure and flow significantly.

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